SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge
Prof Richard Birtles
Prof Richard Birtles
postal addressPeel Building G38.
telephone0161 295 5726
Key Memberships
From January 2011 to present.
Full Member of Research Centre: Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
From September 2015 to present.
Profile Summary

I am a microbiologist and spend most of my time thinking about infectious disease ecology. My work explores the strategies adopted by infectious agents, at the individual and population level, to persist in nature, in particular those microorganisms that are arthropod transmitted. These efforts have centred on organisms of public health and veterinary importance, including the tick-transmitted Borrelia and Anaplasma species, and flea and louse-transmitted members of the bacterial genus Bartonella.

Recent/ongoing projects include examination of the adaptation of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi strains to specific transmission pathways within natural multi-host, multi-vector system, and study of the molecular basis of arthropod exploitation by Bartonella species.

I've also been part of a long-standing collaboration involving numerous ecologists, parasitologists and immunologists aimed at exploring the impact of parasitism on host fitness through the study of various infections in wildlife populations. Recent/ongoing projects have quantified the impact of co-infection on susceptibility of field voles to various pathogens, and have explored the immunological signatures of, and ecological trade-offs associated with, parasite tolerance. 

Finally, I have a slow-burning interest in the role of protozoa as environmental reservoirs of pathogens which, one day soon, I will really start putting some effort into... 

Key Qualifications
Key Projects
GTA support from Merial (ELRA53 Extension)
Merial Animal Health UK, 2,051.00.
Principal Investigator: R Birtles (100%).
Perry Foundation Studentship
Perry Foundation, 36,000.00.
Principal Investigator: R Birtles (100%).
GTA support from Merial
Merial Animal Health UK, 10,500.00.
Principal Investigator: R Birtles (100%).
Key Publications
Refereed Journal Articles